The anxiety and stress of the caregivers who look after loved ones diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia were exacerbated when COVID-19 caused them to lose the assistance of respite services that they typically relied on. In-person activities came to a halt. Medical appointments went virtual or were not available at all. Caregivers lost their jobs or had to resign when loved ones were forced to remain at home and confused by their modified schedule. New and unforeseen challenges resulted in a catastrophic ripple effect known as caregiver burnout.
FCA’s Alzheimer’s Caregiver Program staff immediately jumped into action. The team recognized the increased client needs for social interaction, counseling, and connection to necessary community resources to help care for loved ones in the absence of daycare and other respite services. All programming safely and effectively transitioned virtually, and new supports were added including education programs, groups, and activities. These included weekly Memory Cafes featuring live entertainers and bingo with great prizes. These new activities became a new staple of FCA’s services and clients began to look forward to these moments each week during the chaos of the outside world. Staff enjoyed the opportunity to witness clients engaging in singalongs, dancing, and creating beautiful art projects.
Clients were connected to homecare services, Nassau County case management programs, and assisted with Medicaid homecare applications. Individual counseling sessions were conducted over the phone and virtually. These sessions were often the caregivers’ lifeline during some very dark days.
Support groups flourished with the newly increased need for additional support. Open forums were held for caregivers to share experiences, voice concerns, and to offer creative solutions. Robust educational programs were held to educate caregivers on topics including Medicare, case management, community resources, and coping with anxiety and depression.
FCA’s essential services helped clients and those they care for to forge through this year’s challenges and remain on the front line committed and continuing to do so.
If you are experiencing caregiver burnout or know someone who may be, FCA is here to help. You are not alone.
Contact FCA today! Let us hold your hand as you hold theirs!
(516)292-1300 ext. 2264